SPLA-IO forces in Rejaf

The Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) said the first batch of opposition forces was transported to Nyacigak military training college in Torit State on Saturday.

The JMCC is a joint security mechanism responsible for oversight and coordination of forces in cantonment and barracks.

Brig. Gen. Kornelio Abelle Lomilomoi, the JMCC team leader for Eastern Equatoria, said 305 troops from both the opposition faction SPLA-IO and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) started moving from Nyara and Irube cantonment sites to the training centre.

He said other forces are expected to move from Loyoro, Lowareng and Achwa cantonments sites within less than a week.

Abelle urged the forces to respect the high command if they are to succeed in training to achieve their goals.

“If people arrive at the training field, there should be no tribalism there. You should not hate your brother and there will be only one channel for communication to avoid misunderstandings,” he said.

Speaking to forces at Ibalany checkpoint on Torit-Juba road, the state governor, Tobiolo Alberio Oromo says the other organized forces like police, wildlife, fire brigade and national security will start moving soon.

 “There are forces coming from Kapoeta State, including SSPDF [South Sudan People’s Defense Forces]. They would have joined and we address them together, but they are still on the way because of transport challenges,” he said.

Oromo urged the forces to maintain discipline and shun tribalism.

The SPLA-IO deputy sector 9 commander in the area, Maj. Gen. Benjamin John Batista urged the forces to cooperate during the training.

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He said the training will help in the reunification of all the forces.

Meanwhile, Bibiana Kandido, a member of the state legislative assembly, urged both forces to forget about the past and start a new chapter.

She thanked the opposition forces for respecting the ceasefire ever since the signing of the revitalized peace accord in September 2018.

The preparations to train the unified forces came one month after the national government allocated $16.5 million for the security mechanisms to speed up the creation of unified forces.

The process of gathering fighters into military training camps with a view to forming a unified army is a cornerstone of the 2018 peace deal.

This article was originally published on Radio Tamazuj